Fans Dressed to Kill at the Indianapolis “Days of the Dead!”

If there was a finale for our weekend at the 2017 Indianapolis Days of the Dead convention, then surely the costume contest was it.  I arrived at the hall early and roughly the same time that many of the contestants did. Just the few I passed on my way in let me know I was in for a treat. Some of the costumes weren’t just creative but downright brave. Case in point, a giant-sized Count Chocula that towered over all of us. As hard as it was for me to maneuver that crowded hallway, I could only imagine how tough it must have been for him.

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Hanging with Svengoolie & Crew at C2E2!

As soon as I arrived for Day Two of the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), I made a mad dash to the autograph section while dodging hundreds of attendees. National MeTV horror host, Svengoolie, was signing at Table #25 and, per his producer/assistant Jim Roche, I was to meet the crew just prior to his 11 am appearance. Seconds after reaching the spot, I got swept up by the host’s television crew who’d been right behind me. For the last five years, I’ve been one of the luckiest Svengoolie fans around. Despite his growing popularity and adding a bevy of celebrity admirers to his fan base each year, he and his talented team have always been very gracious to us Daves and allowing close access to many of his key appearances. I get to play Jimmy Olsen to his Superman while offering some assistance whenever needed. C2E2 is one of those “all hands on deck” type of events where this often comes into play. Svengoolie always commands a huge line of fans but, at this convention, it would continuously grow the entire weekend if given the chance. While his Director, Chris Faulkner, and assistant director, Kevin Reisberg, are out gathering footage for the show, Jim has the arduous task of maintaining the crowd without being distracted. So it’s the perfect trade-off, I offer an extra set of hands and, in turn, get front row coverage of the host. It probably also helps that I’m built like a bar bouncer and can offer an air of “protection” should things get rowdy though, thankfully, that’s never happened at any of the Svengoolie appearances I’ve ever attended (and, for the record, this one was #76).

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Superheroes and Villains Storm the Windy City’s C2E2!

My family and I can literally feel the energy of the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for a full month before it finally begins. The annual event sees fans from virtually all walks of geek-dom gather (and fill) the city’s enormous McCormick Place to celebrate their varying interests. Whether that may be STAR WARS, Dr. WHO, superheroes, Anime, horror, science fiction, Godzilla (or in my case, pretty much “all of the above”) you’re guaranteed to love this event! We’ve been attending for the last several years and each one is more enjoyable than the one before with 2017 no exception.

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G-FEST XXIII and the Many Faces of Godzilla!

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Last month I attended Chicago’s G-FEST (Godzilla Festival) for the thirteenth year in a row – a lucky number for me as it marked the return of my eldest son, Alex, to the Godzilla fold. Back in 2004, when we first started attending, he was a six year old Godzilla-obsessed kid who’d later anticipate this event more than Christmas itself. That is, of course, until puberty reared its ugly head and whisked away all love of dinosaurs, spaceships, and the “King of Monsters” in favor of hanging with peers and militaristic video games like Call of Duty. Needless to say, I was taken aback when he requested to join my youngest son, Luke, and I for this year’s event. I’m thinking it might be his way of seeking past childhood comforts before he leaves for the Air Force Academy next month. Whatever the reason, it was great having him back as the Fuentes headed to Rosemont.

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CONNECTICON – More Than Meets The Eye

Up until recently one of the highlights of being a genre fan has been going to conventions and not only meeting the actors and actresses that create our favorite shows and movies but also hanging out with thousands of people who share your interests. Unfortunately for me, my opinion of conventions started to sour when some of them got too big for their britches.

As more and more people started to attend these events the higher prices skyrocketed. At one time you could wait in line to meet a star, get something autographed and have your picture taken right there with your own camera with said star. All of a sudden this was no longer allowed and if you wanted to have your picture taken with somebody famous, you would have to pay an exorbitant amount of money and the picture was taken by the convention’s camera and they would print you up a copy (digital copies cost extra). This whole practice ruined conventions for me and I just stopped going. Not only because the fun was no longer there but also because I just couldn’t afford it.

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